Deanna Williamson

Associate Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Human Ecology Dept


Associate Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Human Ecology Dept
335 Human Ecology Building
8905 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2N1



Dr. Williamson's broad research interest is the well-being of families and their members within the context of social, economic, and political conditions. A central focus of her current research is the conceptualization and measurement of family functioning in contemporary families. As well, she has examined the influence that policy has on the well-being of families in poverty. Some of her research has explored the impact of health care and social assistance policies on the health behaviours and health of people living in poor families; whether the relationship between health behaviours and health is dependent on income adequacy; and the implications of welfare-to-work policies for the health and development of pre-school children in poverty.

Dr. Williamson is conducting a project entitled Family functioning in everyday life: The experiences of families with young children and diverse compositions, socioeconomic circumstances, and ethno-cultural origins, which offers opportunities for graduate students to pursue Master's and Doctoral research projects. In this study, a critical ethnographic approach is being used to generate in-depth descriptions of the processes engaged in by families as they function in their everyday lives, with attention to social, economic, and political influences, such as social ideals, social and economic policies, and employment conditions on family functioning.


Current Research Grants 

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2013-2018; Family Functioning in Everyday Life: The Experiences of Families with Young Children and Diverse Compositions and Ethno-Cultural Origins; Principal investigator: Williamson, D.L.; Co-investigators: Kushner, K.E., Pitre, N., & Skrypnek, B.J.; $489,000.

Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund, University of Alberta, 2016-2017; Needs assessment for enhanced field supervisor engagement within the Human Ecology Practicum Program; Principal Investigator: Chandler, K; Co-Investigator: Williamson, D.L.; $16,840.


Graduate students currently supervised and their research topic/area of interest

  • Razak Oduro (PhD, Human Ecology) – Research interest: Social movements and poverty reduction 
  • Brenda Reynolds (MSc, Human Ecology) – Research interest: Urban Indigenous family functioning processes
  • Emily Hendsbee (MSc (course-based), Human Ecology) – Project focus: Families with a member with a disability 


HECOL 301 - Program Planning and Evaluation

Theories and processes of program planning, implementation, and evaluation from a human ecological perspective. Prerequisite: successful completion of 60 units.

HECOL 682 - Program Planning and Evaluation

Theories, approaches, and processes fundamental to the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs that effect change and build capacity in families, communities and organizations.

Browse more courses taught by Deanna Williamson

Featured Publications

Kushner, K.E., Sopcak, N., Breitkreuz, R., Pitre, N., Williamson, D.L., Rempel, G., Stewart, M., & Letourneau, N.

Community, Work & Family,. 2017 January; 20 (1):119-141

Lightbody, T.K., & Williamson, D.L.

Journal of Child and Family Studies. 2017 January; 26 (1):1409-1421

Drummond, J., Wiebe, N., So, S., Schnirer, L., Bisanz, J., Williamson, D.L., Mayan, M., Templeton, L., & Fassbender, K.

Trials. 2016 January; 17 (343)

Kushner, K.E., Pitre, N., Williamson, D.L, Breitkreuz, R.S., & Rempel, G.

Marriage & Family Review,. 2014 January; 50 (1):1-34

Drummond, J., Schnirer, L., So, S., Mayan, M., Williamson, D.L., Bisanz, J., Fassbender, K., & Wiebe, N.

BMC Health Services Research. 2014 January; 14

Chandler, K., & Williamson, D.L.

Journal of Experiential Education,. 2013 January; 36 (3):188-202

Breitkreuz, R.S., & Williamson, D.L.

Social Service Review. 2012 January; 86 (4):660-689

Williamson, D.L., Choi, J., Charchuk, M., Rempel, G., Pitre, N., Breitkreuz, R.S., & Kushner, K.E

A research note. Qualitative Research. 2011 January; 11 (4):381 - 394

Williamson, D.L., Skrypnek, B.J., de Los Santos, N.

Marriage & Family Review. 2011 January; 47 (6):397-418

Breitkreuz, R.S., Williamson, D.L., & Raine, K.D.

Community, Work, Family.. 2010 January; 13 (1):43-69

Williamson, D.L., & Carr, J.

Critical Public Health. 2009 January; 19 (1):107-122

van der Velde, J., Williamson, D.L., & Ogilvie, L.

Qualitative Health Research,. 2009 January; 19 (9):1293-1302

Breitkreuz, R.S. & Williamson, D.L.

Life on the margins: Implications for health research. Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education Australia. 2006 January;

Williamson, D.L., Stewart, M.J., Hayward, K., Letourneau, N., Makwarimba, E., Masuda, J., Raine, K., Reutter, L., Rootman, I., & Wilson, D.

Health Policy. 2006 January; 76

Williamson, D.L., & Salkie, F.

Journal of Children and Poverty,. 2005 January; 11 (1):55-76

Williamson, D.L., Salkie, F., & Letourneau, N.

Canadian Journal of Public Health,. 2005 January; 96 (1):13-17

Williamson, D.L.

Canadian Journal of Public Health,. 2001 January; 92 (3):178-183

Williamson, D.L.

Social Science and Medicine. 2000 January; 51 (1741-1754)

Williamson, D.L., & Fast, J.E

Canadian Public Policy. 1998 January; XXIV (1):1-25

Williamson, D.L., & Fast, J.E.

Canadian Journal of Public Health. 1998 January; 89 (2):120-124